The 100th Grey Cup is now history. That means the work begins in earnest for the committee that will organize everything and anything surrounding the 101st Grey Cup which will be played at Mosaic Stadium Sunday November 24, 2013. The first step in what is the final year of planning occurred Thursday night as the theme and logo of the week-long party was unveiled.
“Celebration in Rider Nation is the theme”, Grey Cup executive director Neil Donnelly said. “We are in the heart of the Rider Nation, but we wanted to emphasize the fact that when you come to the Grey Cup in Regina, you are going to be coming to a party so not only will you be celebrating the history of the Grey Cup, but you will be doing it within the heart of the most passionate fan base in the CFL.”
This will be the third time the CFL’s championship game will have been played in Regina. The events in 1995 and 2003 were tremendous successes and Donnelly believes this one will be as well simply for the fact that Regina is a bigger city now than it was when the first two took place.
“We are following the model of 1995 and 2003, but we are trying to make it bigger and better. We have things like the new city plaza downtown and the new facilities at Evraz Place that we can really use.” Donnelly said. “Downtown will have a big presence with the tent returning, but we will have the player awards at the Conexus Arts Centre with events also happening at places like Casino Regina and the Delta Hotel. A lot of the parties will happen at Evraz Place, but in the end there will be things happening across the city and once again it will be something for all ages and some family-friendly events.”
The planning started in October 2011 when the CFL awarded the game to Regina so many things are in place and just ready to be initiated. However, Donnelly says the next year will still be a very challenging one as the clock winds down to November 24.
“We do have a great start, but we are trying to make it a year-long celebration and not just a week-long one so activities will really get going this spring. “ Donnelly commented. “I think we are in a good position right now, but we know it’s going to get busy and it will be a challenge to make sure everything goes off without a hitch, but I am confident we can do that.”
Merchandise with the Grey Cup 2013 logo can now be found with people being encouraged to go on-line or visiting one of “The Rider Store” locations in Regina and Saskatoon. Donnelly adds the official call for volunteers will be happening in a few months’ time
Organizers of the 101st Grey Cup know the next year will be extremely busy, but they also have some solid models to work off of when it comes to Grey Cups in the Queen City before and with a new wrinkle here and a new wrinkle there, there is tremendous confidence that CFL fans from across Canada will get a true feeling of why CFL football is embraced in Saskatchewan and that when they leave, they will have been a part of “The Celebration In The Rider Nation.”
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